JOY – EMPTY NESTS – AND THE NEXT SEASON

Hello friends.

 

When I started blogging I wanted to be so light and airy and positive and uplifting, and hopefully I’m achieving that.  But also there’s real life.  Homes aren’t perfect, rooms aren’t perfectly decorated or clean and organized all the time.

I know this sounds negative, but I don’t want it to be, I want it to be thought provoking.  I’m at that next season, where for the most part the kids have scooted out and it’s just me, hubby and the pets, (2 dogs and 2 goats!).

Every day is new, full of possibilities, and adventures, but slowly and insidiously lately my days have been wrapped in emotions, a roller coaster of highs and lows.

Joy - Empty Nest

Do you have days like this?  If you do, then can I give you a cyber-hug.

We get up in the morning because … we have to go to work, eat, clean house, etc.

We do all these things all our lives because we have a need to feed and clothe and house ourselves.  But what are we doing for ourselves. Just us.  Things that bring us joy?

Joy Empty Nests Next Season

Do you know what brings you joy?

Joy.  Happiness.  A contentment on doing a particular task.

Joy, Empty Nests, The next season
Photo – Ancientbests.co.nz

Usually we’d say something like our family, friends, home etc., But what about just for you?

It’s all so confusing.  What will make the next years fulfilling, exciting, joy-filled and worthy of me.  Because it’s time to think ABOUT ME.

What do I like to do?

No idea – and that is scary.

Besides I realize (sadly) that some of the things I might have liked to try my now 60-year-old body is no longer capable of.  Mentally, too I’m finding that I can no longer multitask like before. Days where I juggled many balls seem to have evaporated.

So what does that leave me with?

Growing old in a rocking chair.

Hibernating?

Giving up?

That would be so easy and in truth the reality of that is tempting.  But it is also so sad.  Life doesn’t need to be sad.  For most of us life is a series of ups and downs and sometimes debilitating, and it would be easy to focus on the bad.

Joy empty nest the next season
Photo – pinterest.com

At this stage in my life when I’ve sort of left a major career, hubby is now retired too, it’s kinda scary and the thoughts of what next keep nagging at me. What do I want to do? What will fulfil me for the next 20-30 years?

For most women we put ourselves last for a majority of years.  Our children/families/work and home lives come first, our thoughts and needs come in a low pecking order on our lists of must dos.

We’ve hardly stopped all these years to actually consider that.  School runs, jobs, home, elderly parents, there was no time for us and if there was, guilt struck at the time we were taking away from our family and everyone else.  They all came first.  Now don’t get me wrong. I believe that to be absolutely true.  They should come first, especially your children.  You’ve brought them into this world, and it’s our responsibility to guide them until they leave the nest. Mind you being a parent never ends, the role of guide and listener is still happening even now they’re in their 20s.  Maybe that’s a time when we’re needed more so.

Photo – Pinterest.com

 

However, physically and spatially we now have time, and sometimes if we’re lucky a little bit extra dollars to go round.  It’s like moving house to a new neighborhood.  The people around us have all changed.  We’re used to our fellow co-workers, etc, now they aren’t a part of our everyday lives, so what will fill that gap?

So what if you now, for the first time have to think what you’d like to do – and shock horror, scary stuff – you can’t think of anything.  It’s like… so what am I/who am I/ what makes me happy?

Take time to list things you thought you might like to try.  Even if it was waaaay back.

Mine was:

Floral art

Growing herbs

Painting furniture

Joining a women’s group of some sort

(Thinking about) Getting fit!

Trying new recipes

Travel if I can.

See more of my own country

Learn to crochet

 

Do I want to start a business?  And why would I?  I’m 60 years old, it’s kinda time to rest surely?

But does that mean I’m not valuable, not capable of trying.  Of course not, but the commitment, the challenge, the effort, time etc, is that what I want now in my life?

When I read blog posts and see the lovely homes and everything just so, that little green devil in me gets loud!  I love the rooms, admire the talent, but I am a little bit envious too.  I see these vital women working hard to create beautiful homes, lives so full and active and I wonder where my life is taking me and why and how and oh so many questions.

Do you have those too?

As a semi empty nester you think you have so much time, but after years of raising a family and now not needed so much, it’s more about what’s next.  What do I fill my life with now?

One thing I think we must be thankful for as we age is that we are able to actually do that.  So many can’t Some also don’t have the good health to be able to be as vital as they once were or want to be.  Today give those around you who are not as fortunate in this vitality, a hug and compassion and encouragement.

Photo- Pinterest

Something I read recently about smiling, inspired me, and made me stop and …well, smile, and be grateful.  I also remembered that advert on TV where a person smiles as she passes another in the street, then that person smiles at another going passed in a bus and so on?  The smile is contagious.  This simple advert makes me smile and I think the knowledge that my smile could benefit someone else’s day, is awesome.

I’m out to find my pot of gold …. My joy, my reason, my fun. And smile!

Photo – askideas.com

It may be a business, it may be going to floral art classes or creating a myriad of life experiences and adventures, but it will be mine.

So I choose to turn today’s sense of overwhelm into a positive (hence this post) and smile at everyone from the lady at the bakery as we chuckled about giving in to the chocolate cake and the shop assistant who recognised me at Bed bath and Beyond (oops obviously I’ve been shopping too much).

So stop and smile and be grateful for today. And yep, smile and smile and smile.

And because you can’t stop smiling at this little girl, my first grandchild.

 

Happy days

Jane

 

 

Just Some Pretty Stuff

Hello everyone,

It’s been a frantic week this end of the world.  On Monday i drove about 4 hours north to visit my eldest sister who has chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.  It is so hard seeing her struggle and the limitations these horrible illnesses put on her, especially when she’s such a vital person and still wants to lead that vital life with her family.

That said, age is really enduring as was a testament when i went to Rotorua on Saturday to my mother’s sister’s 90th birthday.  It was a lovely occassion with family from Australia and the USA coming in to celebrate those 90 glorious years.  Saturday too was the start of clocks going forward for daylight saving and New Zealand’s government elections, so three momentous things on one day.  That, unfortunately meant that i was dead toast on Sunday.  We had to leave Rotorua early as our daughter was going to Hawaii and we had to do the airport drop off.

So finally home, catching up on the laundry and real life in full bloom as I juggle getting it all done.  Or at least attempt to.

But rather than focus on what has to be done, and my growing list, i thought i would post a few pics of little bits and pieces i have gotten done lately.

 

My little corner of my garden

First was a few pots getting ready for spring.  My green thumb has turned more black these days and don’t ask me to grow parsley – for some reason I seem to kill all parsley plants.

Cooking up ham and sun dried tomato pinwheel scones, great for Saturday/Sunday lunch was a weekend task

Ham and Cheese and Sun Dried Tomato Pinwheel Scones

 

Next on the agenda was play around with some old front door wreaths I made.  I’m a complete novice at this and am hoping to do a new one in a few days, so check back and see.  I adore seeing ones others have done, but i’m not very up on the technical skills of it, but it is fun to do and that’s the most important thing.

I also wanted to add some interest to the smallest room in the house (yes the toilet!)  Ideally i’d love to paint the walls a dark color, but that’s not happening yet (have to convince hubby).  He thinks it would be too dark, because a small room, but it’s small, nothing is going to change that LOL.  I had the vintage gold mirror that is all curves and scrolls – it was my mothers, so i gathered up some old picture frames, painted them with a gray chalk paint, then i had a can of gold spray paint, dabbed a bit on an old cloth and sort of sponged it on the frames.

I don’t the room is finished yet.  It needs that color.  What do you think?  Any suggestions.

So that’s me lately, doing a few fluffy things, and enjoying the creativity.

A bit of this and a bit of that, a good way to recharge the body, mind and soul.

What have you done lately that helps you recharge.  Do comment below and let me know.

 

Happy days

Jane xxx

HOW TO HAVE A SIMPLY CLEAN HOME WITHOUT THE GUILT

Hello there,

How to have a Simply Clean home without the guilt

How are you all.  Is the week going according to plan?  In all likelihood, if it is anything like my weeks, the answer to that would be a big loud NO.

Is this you?

How to have a simply clean house without the guilt

Why is it that we chase the ever illusive routine, the perfect system whether it be cards, lists, computerised or paper, something that will make our life just flow perfectly, without hitches.  Meals would be on the table on time, and of course nutritious and everyone would comment on a lovely meal.  Then there is the laundry, it’s done, dried, folded and put away, plus all the ironing done, the floors are mopped and vacuumed – daily I might add – bills are paid on time, and the paperwork filed and not left to linger around the kitchen counter for several days…um, okay week.

You’ve been to the gym three times this week, and of course the dusting, polishing, is done, the kitchen is spotless, the freezer foods all labelled and no smelly rotting food would dare dawdle in your refrigerator.  Oh, yes,  life of routines, and list and …. Is perfect…. or NOT. Oh and don’t forget those sparkling clean windows are bereft of paw prints and sticky finger prints.

Now I am the first to acknowledge that THIS IS NOT MY LIFE. Oh, I wish it was, I am you see a would be perfectionist, but somehow I don’t quite hit the grade.  Which is rather frustrating, because really, I really do want to be a perfect housekeeper. I just don’t seem to have the energy to be perfect.

Photo – cleanmama.net

 

But then who would actually notice.  Not the teen who is in one door and out the other with a scrap of left over pizza in their hand, a few anchovies dropped on the floor in their wake.

And I don’t think the Hubby would notice as he finishes his meal and falls asleep on the sofa.

I look around at all the perfectness.  The shiny furniture and floors, the spotless kitchen, bathrooms the beautifully scented and clean laundry.How to have a SIMPLY CLEAN home without the guilt

Who actually notices?  And who actually cares?

Actually… I care and that should be enough – it is enough!  We don’t necessarily clean house for anyone else, even though they may live there.  We do it because – well it could be for a variety of reasons.  It could be to impress others, but we can already see family aren’t quite impressed.

What about our friends?

Well unless they live at your house 24/7 and see it so spotless all the time, they don’t count because as sure as it rains in spring, friends turn up at your doorstep when the house is in chaos.

So really the only person you are doing this for is YOURSELF.  Yes, you may like to have it clean for your children, clean clothes, good meals, house spick and span, but when it comes down to it, doing the house work, however often, is gracing your home – for you – and yes your family also.

It’s about personal pride.  I’m not saying it has to be perfect – though that darn little OCD part of me WOULD LOVE it to be perfect – but I know in reality that aint gonna happen.

So if you want to take pride in your home, in yourself and your environment how do we get it all done.
Reality is we probably don’t.  For years I thought I was a failure if I didn’t get it done, and so mostly (and this is really sad) I would go around feeling like a failure because I hadn’t done xyz on the allocated day/time/week etc. In my head “other people’s” houses were perfect, and I was the only one that failed.

My excuse was, life would get in the way which was really frustrating because I didn’t want it to. I mean I had a house to make perfect, towels to fluff and curtains to vacuum – just because it said so on my list.

But…. Travel down through the years and I have kind of a routine, it works sometimes.

How to have a SIMPLY CLEAN home without the guilt
Photo – CleanMama.net

Then I came upon SIMPLY CLEAN by Becky Rapinchuk, founder of Clean Mamma and finally the guilt dissolved.

This book is about days and weeks and months and routines.  So what makes it different from other household chore/routine books – and believe you me I have read a few (actually lots and lots) this book in the way Becky has written it has given me permission to get rid of the guilt!  And that my friends is HUGE!

Simply Clean is a book of routines and systems but it’s – well –  simple.  A few regular chores each day, plus a weekly chore per day, AND you get Friday to catch up and Sunday to play.

 

What could be better than that?  Time off, time to breathe, time to say okay, I’ll just get so and so finished now.  This book took away my guilt for not being perfect and for that alone I love this book to bits.

This book really ‘got to me’.  Becky was ‘speaking’ to me.  Her writing style is engaging, relaxing and just darn friendly.  I felt like she understood me.  And for that I was grateful.

Is my house perfect yet?

Nope, and it probably never will be.

Do I still hope and pray on bended knees wishing it would be perfect– yes of course, but I know the truth.  People live here, dogs live here.  Perfect doesn’t exist here.  But the routines in this book gives me focus, and at the same time allows me to let life get in the way as it invariably does.

So for my review of Simply Clean I would give it an absolute 5 Stars.

Simply Clean is available at Amazon

 

Happy days – and reading

Jane

 

 

 

 

DO YOU THINK YOU COULD BE A MINIMALIST?

Hello friends,

It’s another day, another week, and my list of things to do is a mile long.  One of which is considering if think I could be a minimalist.

Do you think you could be a minimalist

What about you?  Could you be a minimalist?

But wait, you might already be living the minimalist life already and not know it.

I know that sounds weird, but minimalism for one person could be cluttered for another.

Are you this?

Do you think you could be a minimalist

Or this?

Do you think you could be a minimalist

Neither image is correct, because what is minimal to one is not to another.

So what is Minimalism?  With reference to our environment the dictionary explains it as –

noun: minimalism

deliberate lack of decoration or adornment in style or design.

“his living room was a testament to minimalism”

 

For example, let’s look at these pictures of flowers.

Do you think you could be a minimalist   Do you think you could be a minimalist

Do you think you could be a minimalist

Do you think you could be a minimalist

 

They’re all beautiful in their own way. Colorful, simple, rich in design.  But is one more beautiful than the other to you?  Why is that?  How does it appeal to your soul, your imagery, and what about it brings you joy?

It could be that it’s a simple style – all one type of bloom, or simply one bloom.  It could be that it’s a riot of color and creativity, a wild scattering of nature, or that it simply appeals to you, deep down.

So look at them, which one tugs at your heart strings the most?  And why?

Because of that simplicity. Because of that riot of color, or because it’s a vibrant mass and you could imagine having vases just like this all around your house, not just in one place. The analogy of ‘how much’ one vase of flower/s appeals to you than another, is the key to what your ‘level’ of minimalism is.  And hey presto, you’re already a minimalist.

Perhaps you decide you like a one color effect, not necessarily a single bloom, but all the same color – monochromatic.

In design that could look like this.

Do you think you could be a minimalist

It’s not bland, not merely black and white, it’s vibrant, but it’s still minimal in that it’s based on one color – blue.  So that’s your vase of tulips above.

Then you might prefer a more boho or eclectic look

Do you think you could be a minimalist

With the orange and blues, and the wood tones, this room is more vital. It’s still minimal, but has that cozy feeling and not bland or sterile that often is associated with minimalism.  This is your posy of lillies, roses and gerberas.

So what does minimalism mean to you, and how does it look and feel?

First, let’s work out your reasons – your want and why?

Why is the need to minimalize suddenly rearing its head in your life?

There could be a multitude of reasons such as – Life is busy and you just want to calm it down visually

You can’t find stuff – you simply have TOO MUCH STUFF

You can make money from selling your stuff.  Not a bad way to downsize and minimalize

You can’t stop buying STUFF. How much stuff do you actually need?  If you love decorating your home, it’s hard not to buy the next best thing in décor, a tray, an orb, faux plants.  But at worst they are dust collectors and gobble your money up because let’s face it there’s always the next best thing around the corner.  Besides if you’re always buying stuff, how do you really get to know what your décor style really is.  This of course could attest to the clothes in our wardrobes too.

Surrounding ourselves with STUFF is often overwhelming.  Now I’m not necessarily talking about hoarder type accumulation, but if you can’t see a clear surface anywhere how can your brain/your visual sight ever get a chance to rest. There’s no visual blank space, (that’s not to say my brain doesn’t have blank spaces at times LOL)

Or at different seasons in our lives we inherit ‘stuff’ from family members, sometimes we can’t say no without offending them and so hold on to that ugly hutch we really have no place for, or it really is an inheritance when a family member passes away and you just don’t know where to put everything…until finally IT ALL GETS TOOOOOO MUCH.

So…okay, you want to get rid of stuff.  You want to try that minimalism thing.

 

But how do I know what my minimal level is?  How much is too much?  How much is too little?

Here are some ways to find out.

  • You could remove everything from the room, only putting back in things you love – slowly – a sofa/chair, a cabinet, a piece of art work. If you don’t love it, don’t keep it.

Do you think you could be a minimalist

  • Remove all the accessories and let the room breathe for a while. See if you like the ‘empty’ space, and only bring back a few things.
  • Rotate your accessories either seasonally or on a whim.

By removing everything and only putting in what you love, this process allows you time to appreciate what you have, and need, ONLY!

Another simple way of working out what you want to keep is to ask yourself some questions.

Do I like it?  

         Does it work?

Does it fit my style?

Does it fit my bank account?

Does it fit the life season I’m at right now?

 

If you like it, then it’s an obvious keeper

If it works and is necessary, again a keeper, but if it doesn’t fit your style – then donate/toss/give away/sell.

But wait, what if I don’t know my style!  Then I say refer back to the above, and empty that room and try and see if it goes with how you want your room to look.

And again if you have no idea about what you want a room/your home too look like, then hit Pinterest and start saving anything that appeals to you, that makes you say WOW. Slowly, over time you’ll get a clearer picture of what appeals to you.  It may be color, form, function, wood, metals, or a particular décor style, shabby chic, farmhouse, modern.  This knowledge will assist you in deciding what stays and what doesn’t.

Then there are the seasons of life.

At different stages in our lives, we have different needs.  20s/30s/ or so we have need for children’s toys, paraphernalia, which take up lots of room in the house.

As we age and our children too, it may be more like sports gear, camping equipment etc. and the soft toys are side-lined.

Do you think you could be a minimalist

Do you have to keep them all?  I say no!

But they’re my children’s precious things, my memories are tied up with that cute rabbit with one ear, so you keep the rabbit and everything else because they remind you of those wonderful days.  Those days, however, are stored in your memory, you don’t need the stuff to make you remember those precious moments.  How about you put half a dozen away in labelled storage and the rest you donate to a family refuge or other charity.  Or perhaps you keep a few for future grandchildren, but that’s all.  A few, not the mound that’s taking over the spare room right now.  You know it does.  You can’t ignore it, the room is bursting, and shutting the door on it doesn’t make it go away –  even though you wish it would.  Who hasn’t thought that a time or too (I see you nod your head) and I agree, been there, done that!

In our later years (okay so I’m saying kinda 60 upwards) you find that all of a sudden you want to get rid of the very things that ten years ago you thought you had to have.  Those cooking books you never look at, instead you go online, the boxes and boxes of crafts you don’t have time for, or all the books you’ve read, but kept, thinking you might read them again, but never have.

Time to get real with yourself.  Do you really want all this clutter?

You have to be honest with yourself, and unfortunately sometimes being honest like this is a tad painful and scary.  But this is how you get to decide what your ‘minimalism’ looks like.  It’s your choice.

You may decide to keep all those cushions whereas someone else can’t stand having anything on the sofa.  I’m a cushion gal, but Hubby just tosses them on the floor.  Sacrilege, I know.

You may get rid of all the vases or other ornaments in the china cabinet, and just use it to display a few artful pieces that speak joy to you.

So…what is your level of minimalism? Do you think you could be a minimalist?

Give it some time to percolate, and if uncertain, store an item, for a few weeks or months.  Do let me know in the comments below what your level of minimalism.  What can you toss, what can’t you give away ever?

Happy days

Jane

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HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN MINI-SANCTUARY

Hello everyone,

I’m so glad you’re joining me on this journey.  How has your week been?  I bet, like most of us, you find yourselves rushing from chore to chore, job, to school, to work, to the gym (okay so maybe I don’t rush to the gym!!), but you get the idea.  We’re busy. We don’t have time for EVERYTHING. And most of all we often find we DON’T have time for ourselves.

 

Busy Moms

 

If this sounds like your life, then it’s time to create your own mini-sanctuary.

THE WHY WHAT AND WHERE

But first you need to determine the why, the what, the how and the when, so read on and let me help you work that exactly out.

 

The Why

Why do u need a mini-sanctuary?  And what does the word sanctuary mean to you?

Is it a place of respite, a place to recharge and regenerate body and soul? Quiet time.   A time that is just for you.

Solitude and Sanctuary

It is important to have a place that gives you a moment to be inspired, that gives you sustenance physically and mentally amidst the chaos of life. You, me and every other woman has commitments.  Family, children, parents who may be ageing, demands from work or even if you are retired, there are new questions.  What now? Sometimes no matter what stage of a life season we are at, we need a place of quiet from the ever present noise of life and our and our electronic world to have time to simply BE.

 

Have you ever noticed that during the day you have the tv sound up higher than at night?  At night everything seems quieter, no electrical noise, the clatter and chatter of disruptions and interruptions. And yet, by the end of the day, of doing our tasks for everyone around us, we often don’t have time to just sit and think, or what I call JUST BEING.  A quiet time to contemplate.

If you live with any of these happenings and let’s be real here, we all do in some way or another, then having a place of sanctuary and a special moment in time just for you alone, is a good enough reason in the first place.

 

The What?

First you need to evaluate what a mini-sanctuary mean to you? Not simply the idea of what it is, but what the actual physical-ness (if that is a word) does a mini-sanctuary look like to you?  This can only be answered by you.  But first you have to ask yourself a few questions.

What is it I need my sanctuary to give me?

Is it quiet time?

Is it a place to read?

A place to commune with nature? To be able to go for a walk, or exercise.

A place to just be, to luxuriate in quiet time?  Does silence equal bliss to you?

quiet time, a sanctuary

 

Many years ago I was asked the question what did I really want to do that was just for ME?  The question actually took me by surprise, I’d never thought about me time, something just for me, and didn’t really even know what I would want.  For a few moments I simply sat and thought about it.  What did I really want, what would recharge me and I would bring me joy?  Just for me.  Alone.  With no one else to consider.  Now I’m not saying we ignore our family/friends/demands on us as mothers/wives/partners, but maybe just for 15 minutes a day we can do something just for US.  A rather liberating thought, isn’t it?  Does thinking it make you feel guilty?

 

Time to get over that.  In the scheme of things, really, you know that 15 minutes a day isn’t much.  A few moments. That’s all.

Finally, after deliberation, I spoke up.  A bath I said, I want a bubble bath.

relaxing time, a bubble bath, a sanctuary

Well as soon as I was out of that appointment I got myself to the supermarket to buy some bubbles.  No expensive bubble bath, but it did smell good.  The cost of what I purchased wasn’t important.  What the deal was that I was doing something just for me…. And boy did I Iove that bubble bath, in fact I had one every night, a couple of tea light candles, bubbles, the door shut to household noise with the instructions that no one was to enter unless they were bleeding to death.

 

The morale here is that sometimes you have to think hard about what you want just for you.  It’s not easy. We’re used to putting ourselves last on the list of importance, because often as women we get out of practice of thinking about US.  It’s something I wonder is actually inbuilt in us.  Everyone else first. Ourselves lasts.  But don’t give up and think you don’t matter because you do, you are the glue to those around you.

So what would you like to do?

Have a reading spot

reading time, quiet time, sanctuary

Sit in the sun /shade outside and just listen to the birds

relaxing, sanctuary

Have that bubble bath like me.  Make it a spa time. Relax in luxurious fragrance and bubbles.

bubble bath, sanctuary, quiet time

Go a walk along the beach/Forrest path.

walking, beaches, quiet time, sanctuary

It may take you a few days to come up with some ideas.  We’re not used to thinking about alone time.  So every time you think of something you may like to do, don’t ignore it, write it down, no matter how silly it might sound. Put pen to paper.  Then, when you can get that first 15 minutes alone, re-read your list of ideas.  Evaluate them, maybe giving them a score of 1-10 – ten being the most important to you.

Silence.   Sun     Relaxing      Reading

Having a home made facial, giving yourself a manicure/pedicure.

Sewing even, or a craft piece you can pick up and put down easily.

Give every idea a value, and slowly you will see which type of ‘relaxing time’ is important to you.

 

Now we get to the next step.

 

The Where?

Once you have chosen what you want to do, the next is to decide where.

 

A reading spot

Create a little corner that’s just for you.  A comfy chair, a good reading light, maybe a cushion and pretty throw just for you.   In your bedroom, a sunroom, a corner of the home office, out on the deck/patio in this chair. A place that brings you serenity and is relaxing.  Tell the family this is your special place and when they see you in this chair then it’s your quiet time.  It may take them a little to figure this one out – you know the repeat, repeat process until they get it.  It doesn’t mean you’re not available, just not right this minute.  It’s like the Mum I need you.  Mum. Mum, they say whenever you’re on the phone.  My practice with that was to hold up my hand to them, they knew then I was aware they needed me, and if they waited a few moments I would give them all the attention in the world.  I wasn’t ignoring them, but was not available right at that minute.

 

A Bubble Bath

relax, bubble bath, sanctuary

Create a spa-like sanctuary in your bathroom.  Beautiful candles, dim the bathroom light or turn it off, add those sweet smelling bubbles to the bath. A little hint here.  You may not want to leave out all your beauties for the entire family. This is your treat, so store it in a decorative box that you bring out for your special time, as you make it your ‘event’.  Some other ideas for your spa.  A loofa, maybe even a face mask, music, and even some wine to go with those bubbles in the bath.  Then the ultimate wrap yourself up in softly luxurious bath towels as you get out, massaging fragranced bath lotion all over.

 

Nature and Quiet Time

solitude, quiet time, sanctuary, nature, walking

Actually if you really listen, nature isn’t that quiet.  It’s full of noise, animals, the wind, rain, the click click click of insects.

But if sitting or walking in nature is your idea of bliss, then create a little piece of native solitude outside.  A chair, maybe a cushion and throw (yes you can tell I’m a cushion gal), a pair of sunglasses and a coffee or cold drink, heck why not a glass of chilled wine.  Now sit and listen.  Let nature wash through you, revive you and reveal its wonder, because it is such a beautiful thing.  Can you hear the wind rustling through the leaves, the grass, the bees buzzing to garner the nectar from the flowers?  Relax and enjoy this moment because it’s just for you.

 

I’ll leave you with a few sayings about relaxation:

 

“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.”   Mark Black

 

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”    Jim Goodwin

 

“Relaxation means releasing all concern and tension and letting the natural order of life flow through one’s being.”   Donald Curtis

 

“Learn to relax. Your body is precious, as it houses your mind and spirit. Inner peace begins with a relaxed body.”   Norman Vincent Peale

 

“Put duties aside at least an hour before bed and perform soothing, quiet activities that will help you relax.”   Dianne Hales

 

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”    Chinese Proverb

 

“Taking time out each day to relax and renew is essential to living well.”   Judith Hanson Lasater

 

And this one reiterates exactly why YOU should create that mini-sanctuary and moment each day, just for you.

 

“When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing – just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling on a pond, a flickering candle or children playing in the park?”     Ralph Marston

 

 

Remember, be kind to YOU and make time for that mini-sanctuary – but most importantly, make sure you use it because you deserve it.

I would love to hear about your sanctuary spot.  What is it? Where is it?  How did you create it?  Comment below.

 

Happy days

Jane xxx

PS: thanks to my daughter Yana for being my photo model!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY I WANT TO BLOG

Life Seasons, Blog Journey

Hello there,   

 

 

 

 

I’m so pleased you joined me today, a rather auspicious day as it’s my first blog post.  As a wife, mother, employee (I work night shifts), homemaker and general try-to-do-it-all gal, you’re probably wondering why I want to blog.

Life Seasons, Blog Journey

Well, I could say it’s just because… because it’s a creative outlet.  I was a fiction author for nearly 20 years, but as the years crept by and particularly as life threw hard stuff at me, the death of my mother, realizing I’m getting older (okay, so I know that’s inevitable but you get it.) it also made me think about what I wanted to achieve over the next 20-30 years or so that I have left, or how I wanted to live my life.  With fiction writing and publishing there are deadlines, stress, always the thought of the next book etc., and I decided I didn’t want that stress any more. Oh, I still plod along and write a bit, but my butt no longer sits at the computer from 9-3 daily plodding away.  I started thinking about life’s seasons and this particular season – empty nest – well for about six months only – till a daughter moved back home.  Along with my eldest moving back home, I’ve a husband who has just retired, another daughter who has made us grandparents and all that involves, plus I want to get out and about, do things, see things.  So this is my next season in life.

One of the things I absolutely love is decorating, and not with tons of dollars, but simply pottering about tweaking things, moving them around (cue family rolling their eyes at me – SHE’S AT IT AGAIN!).  I love to try and organize and always say I’m a would be perfectionist who doesn’t quite get it right.

And that of course brings me to that other realisation.  Okay, I turned 60 this year.

A rather daunting celebration as I wonder where the years have gone, but it also made me question things.  As I said to my sister ‘you’d think at this age, we’d have our stuff (or crap) together by now.

Like weight wouldn’t bother me.

Like I’d be better organized, budgeter, fitter, healthier, dress better, and all those things that go through my mind as I look at my most recent wrinkle in the mirror.

But no it seems life is playing a trick on me, it doesn’t happen like that, or please don’t tell me I’m wrong and it’s only me that feels like the roller coaster is still full throttle.

But one thing that age does give us, is the understanding that ‘’so what?”  So what if we’re a bit overweight, so what if we’re not very organized, so what if we went out with a hem held up by staples or cellotape, so darn what!  It doesn’t matter.

Life Seasons, Adventures,

What matters is that we enjoy life.  That life has seasons and we realize we can make those things better – if we want to, and only if we want to.  We should be happy being who we are, how we are.  I’m not saying there’s always room for improvement, but what I am saying is that we don’t need to be perfect, because we ARE PERFECT just the way we are.  Right now.  Not when we’ve lost 20lbs, or colored all the gray in our hair.  And speaking of which I’m letting all the color grow out, so right now I’m a motley red and gray combo.  I’ve even had a compliment on it LOL.

So whatever your season of life, whether it’s in your 20s and starting out on your career, or in your 30s and playing wife, mom, single parent, along with the hectic career, or the kids have grown a bit – more independent now and then there’s the empty nest (a whole other blog post), right now, today is perfect, you are perfect. I am perfect – well mostly LOL.  We may want change, and that’s okay, good even, but don’t think we’re any less than we are because we NEED to FIX SOMETHING.

I’ve decided to choose things that I’d like to change.  To pick one at a time, but not put extra stress on myself. And to be kind. Love myself.  You should too.  We should all give ourselves a hug every day.  Say kind words to ourselves, not belittling ones, and then embark on the journey WE want, doing the things WE WANT TO DO.

And that’s what this blog is going to be all about.

HOME, FAMILY, DECORATING, ORGANIZING, INTERESTING INTERVIEWS WITH WOMEN FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE, AND JUST GOOD OLD LIFE STUFF.

Join me on the journey and subscribe to my email list, you’ll get a blog post twice a week, it’ll be a fun and adventurous ride .

 

Happy days

Jane

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